Richard Corey was a well-to-do gentleman, well-dressed, handsome, much admired. His manners were perfect, to the point of making even the "lower classes" feel comfortable around him.
The townspeople, on the other hand, have to work hard for their existence. They dream of a better life, such as Richard has, but doubt that it will come to pass. Viewing their lives as worthless, they will no doubt be unable to understand what caused Richard to feel that his seemingly charmed life was no longer worth living, that he could no longer live up to the image that the towsnpeople had of him.